Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Last December ,quite by happenstance, I found Mary Naughton Downs.   Mary was the sister of my great grandmother Bridget Naughton Dowd.   I found the “Nokton” name while working on research for a client at the Archives.

Turns out that Mary came to the USA before Bridget and on 23 July 1882 at St. Thomas RC Church in Braddock PA, she married Michael Downs.  .  The following children were born; Mary –1884, Annie –1887, Margaret- 1889, Catherine-1891, Sarah-1892 and Josephine 1896.

The family disappeared off the face of the earth after that.   UNTIL,  Ancestry.com sent me the shaky leaf, for the 1940 census.  Who did they find for me?    Mary Downs, age 78, widowed and head of the house, born in Erie (Ireland).   Three daughters; Margaret Downs age 51, Sadie Downs age 47, Josephine Downs age42 and a granddaughter named  Ida Molley age 32.    They all lived in the same house in 1935.    Ida was employed as a school teacher. 

Where have they been since 1900, and who is Ida’s mother, Mary, Annie or Catherine?   I checked the SSDI list and Josephine Downs, died in New Jersey in 1991,it  has the exact birthday that I found in St. Thomas Baptism records.

I know nothing about New Jersey records, but I feel that I will in the not too distant future.

1940 United States Federal Census for Margaret Downs

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